David Cameron lobbied the Bank of England to help bail out failed finance firm Greensill Capital where he worked as an adviser, it has been revealed.
The central bank said the former Prime Minister contacted it on several occasions to try and relax the rules on the emergency Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme, which sees the government buy millions of pounds worth of bonds from large investment grade firms to help them keep afloat.
His attempts were unsuccessful and the company last week went bust.
Cameron’s contact with the Bank of England, reported by Channel 4, comes after it was also revealed just days ago that the former Prime Minister tried to lobby Rishi Sunak on behalf of Greensill Capital.
The Sunday Times last weekend reported Cameron, who also had millions in potential stock options in the firm, texted the chancellor on numerous occasions.
Sunak left most of the former Prime Minister’s messages unanswered and directed him toward Treasury officials.
Lex Greensill, the firm’s founder, had already had unsuccessful talks with the Treasury about securing funding through the emergency Covid scheme.
The Treasury found the firm did not qualify for the scheme.
Cameron got involved by reaching out to Sunak directly, however the chancellor reportedly directed him to senior Treasury officials who once again rejected the bid.
However, Greensill did benefit from £400m of loans from the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), despite the official limit being just £50m.
The firm took out eight loans of £50m, the Sunday Times revealed.
It has also been revealed that Cameron did not sign up to the Register of Consultant Lobbyists, which he himself set up to try and increase transparency around lobbyists.
Labour MP Dame Angela Eagle yesterday tried to launch a parliamentary inquiry into Cameron’s actions, but was blocked by other members of the Treasury Select Comittee.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said on Sunday: “The suggestion that David Cameron was also contacting the chancellor directly to further Greensill’s commercial interests raises even bigger concerns.
“This is public money, and the processes involved in decision-making should be fully transparent and beyond reproach. We need a full and thorough investigation into what’s happened here.”
On Monday, Greensill appointed Grant Thornton as its administrators, warning it is in “severe financial distress”, but Greensill’s issues have been mounting for some time.
Last year the German regulator Bafin started investigating Greensill’s exposure to steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta after Greensill was hit by a number of its clients defaulting on their debts, including NMC Health.